Saturday, 6 October 2012

Taco Beef Stew

One of the things I like best about having bought a half cow is that I no longer have to eat ground beef every other day to keep the grocery costs down.  Yea, I love ground beef, too, but some variety is in order sometimes, you know?  So I play this new game now--I open the freezer door, jam my hand inside, and whatever comes out is what we're eating.  Really, that's a fun game, I swear it is.  You don't think that's fun?  Well, you're just dumb, then.

Ok, now there's a small problem with my little game.  I keep pulling out stewing meat.  Unlike ground beef (aka the most versatile meat in the universe), there's not a lot of fun things you can do with stewing beef....  Or is there?  Is it possible that I just haven't had the luxury of trying to figure out new and innovative things to do with stewing beef?  I think that's a challenge!  Challenge accepted, sir!

So last night, for my initiation into this little experiment, a little something familiar, a little something new.  There is nothing my family loves better than mexican flavours.  Think chili--and tacos.  Sure, I could have spent a half hour whipping up a batch of grain-free tortilla bread--but who wants that kind of make-work project?  This was stewing beef, as in, set it and forget it in the crockpot!

I love my crockpot.  There's an awful lot of stuff I can cook well with a crockpot, and certain food just lend themselves to the crock, don't they?  Like stewing beef.  So I've learned that when cooking in the crockpot, everything gets all moist (and watery) which isn't always what I want (unless I'm making stew, which I wasn't).  Enter tomato paste.  Universal thickener.  Problem solver.

Easiest recipe ever.

Does the spice blend look familiar?  It's the spice blend Mark Sisson suggests for tacos.  The best spice mix for tacos I've had so far, so I stick with it.  Its almost perfect.  I only add cayenne.

Serves 4-5


1 lb stewing beef or bison
1 5-oz can tomato paste
1 Tbs chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
dash (or two) cayenne


In crockpot, mix tomato paste and all the spices.  Cover and cook on low 10-12 hours, or on high 4-5 hours.  Crockpot temperatures and times vary.  These are the times that work for my dinosaur crockpot.

Serve with chopped avocado, shredded lettuce, cheddar (if you eat cheese), hot sauce, salsa, whatever!  I served mine over paleo "grits", too.  Just because I had a lot of cauliflower in my fridge and not so much lettuce.

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